Mansfield bar staff get 'black eyes' for domestic abuse awareness

Bar staff with make-up black eyes Image copyright Industria Bar Mansfield
Image caption Bar owner Jonathan Edwards said drinking goes "hand in hand" with domestic violence

Bartenders are planning to give themselves "black eyes" over the Valentine's Day weekend to get drinkers talking about domestic abuse.

Organiser and bar owner Jonathan Edwards said drinking goes "hand in hand" with violence and hopes the make-up shiners will raise awareness.

About 50 venues in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, have agreed to take part on Friday and Saturday.

Information for people looking for help will also be displayed in the bars.

Mr Edwards, who owns three bars in the town - Industria Bar, The Cheeky Monkey and Andwhynot - said: "Pubs and clubs usually go hand in hand with domestic violence.

"They are not responsible for it but you get people flirting with different people, people bumping into exes. Being a sector where domestic abuse can start, it's only right that we do our bit.

"If putting some make-up on allows us to get help for just one person then that's a great result."

Domestic abuse in figures

Year ending March 2018

Two million

People aged 16-59 told the Crime Survey for England and Wales they had been a victim of domestic abuse

  • 1.3m Female victims; 695,000 male

  • 38 Arrests for every 100 recorded crimes

  • 89,091 Cases resulted in prosecution

  • 12% Proportion of prosecutions that fail after a victim changes their mind about giving evidence against their abuser

Mr Edwards was inspired to launch the campaign after speaking to domestic abuse charity Nottinghamshire Independent Domestic Abuse Services (NIDAS) when they came to talk to the members of the Mansfield Association of Licensed Venues.

"We have staff who have been affected by physical or mental abuse and we're supportive employers," he added.

"But sometimes just posters are not enough."

Image copyright Google
Image caption Andwhynot owner Mr Edwards hopes the action could help domestic abuse sufferers

Sue Ready, project manager at NIDAS, said: "Domestic abuse in all its forms, physical, emotional and economic, just isn't going away.

"Legislation is coming in but that on its own will not change attitudes - but community voices just might.

"Bars and pubs have a huge responsibility here and it is great to see them stepping up with this initiative.

"We know that big events, sporting and symbolic, like Valentine's Day, put pressure on relationships and can lead to abuse, and people need to know that is not acceptable."

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